Pittsburgh: Ray Charles Spirit of Christmas
by Monica Yasher

Posted on 12/11/2009 by Monica Yasher

Ray Charles’ The Spirit of Christmas reissued on Concord Records

This is my pick. I’m a Christmas traditionalist. And, I picked this CD because of one particular song, ‘That Spirit of Christmas‘.

It made me think of Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation and Sparky sitting in an attic looking at a bunch of old movies crying. All Sparky wanted in that movie, was the perfect Christmas with a lot of tradition. He wanted to relive the Spirit of Christmas one more time.

The Spirit of Christmas. This year my father in law died and it isn’t the easiest of years for me. As you get older you realize you can’t get back what has gone. But, you have to continue to have the spirit of Christmas because you are making those memories for the ones you love.

Tradition. It was never tradition in my household to run to a store at 4 am because someone told me I should. What in the world can be that important to buy? Is that included in the spirit of Christmas?

I’ll share what we do in the spirit of Christmas. Every year on Christmas Eve we get all dressed up. We don’t wear jeans. We don’t wear hoodies. We get dressed appropriately and go to church. We start the holidays understanding what this season is about. A child born for us. To offer forgiveness for all the wrongs of the world.

We then come home and the first thing we do is get ready for a great Christmas Eve dinner. Our table is beautiful every year. White candles and a white tablecloth on the table for God’s pure love. On everyone’s plate is a figurine of the manager scene. Before the toast and after grace, everyone has to say what part of the story their figurine is part of and place it in the manager scene. The story is done in order, of course. Together we build what the spirit of Christmas is about. A child born in a stable with his Mom and Dad and a bunch of animals around. There is a magnificent angel that heralded the shepherds and wise men that looked for the spirit of Christmas. Before we do anything, I want my children to not lose sight of what this day is about. It isn’t about Santa. It isn’t about getting presents. It is about a child being born just for you!

We do fun stuff too on Christmas Eve. I have a scavenger hunt for the traditional Christmas PJ’s. I bet I’ll be doing that when my kids are 40 years old! They have such a good time. Then we do watch Christmas Vacation as a family! Usually the grandparents stay overnight and we get up and open presents and have a really great breakfast. Then onto a great dinner where we have the same people invited over every year.

I love the tradition. And, Ray Charles’s songs are a tradition for me. Ray Charles has some jazzy feels here. He has soul. And, isn't that what Christmas is about? Soul. Yours and mine. So let me share this CD with you.

Concord has digitally remastered this album and it is the first time is it available in more than twelve years. This CD contains ten songs:

What Child is This
The Little Drummer Boy
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
This Time of Year is Near
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
That Spirit of Christmas
All I Want for Christmas
Christmas in my Heart
Winter Wonderland
Christmas Time
Baby It’s Cold Outside with Betty Carter

There are several top musicians on this piece such as Freddie Hubbard, Rudy Johnson, The Raeletts, Kevin Turner and Jeff Pevar.

Ray Charles is a 17 time Grammy Award winning artist and is listed as number ten on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Artists of All Time. He was inducted into the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and has sold more than ten million albums.

To purchase this CD, click here.

For more information on this CD, contact:

If you wish to read another review try reading Rpbert Cray's This Time by J. Blake

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.

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